Millions of people across California prepare for strict restrictions within hours as the US state records more than 30,000 cases in a day.
And in the UK, the first doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are set to be administered on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Indonesia received its first shipment of coronavirus vaccine from China with over a million doses.
Globally, COVID-19 deaths have surpassed 1.5 million with more than 67 million infections.
Indonesia received 1.2 million Chinese vaccine doses
Indonesia has received 1.2 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine made by China’s Sinovac, officials said, as the world’s fourth most populous nation struggles to get soaring case rates under control.
The doses arrived in Jakarta late Sunday on a flight from Beijing, with another 1.8 million expected to be sent again next month.
Although Chinese regulators have yet to clear any of the country’s vaccines for mass distribution, they have approved some advanced candidates for emergency use.
Workers in Indonesia spray disinfectant over a container containing coronavirus vaccines made by the Chinese company Sinovac, upon arrival at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Indonesia [Indonesian Presidential Palace via AP]
27 mins ago (07:54 GMT)
Britain’s vaccine distribution under way
Britain is getting ready to administer the first doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, with the National Health System giving top priority to vaccinating the over-80s, frontline healthcare workers and care home staff and residents.
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine needs to be kept at -70C (-94F) and only lasts five days in a regular fridge. For that reason, it will first be administered in 50 hospitals. About 800,000 doses are expected to be available within the first week.
34 mins ago (07:46 GMT)
International flights back to Melbourne after 5 months
The Australian city of Melbourne welcomed its first international passenger flight in five months, an arrival that will test the state of Victoria’s revamped hotel quarantine system.
The state of Victoria reopened to international flights following an extended closure due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Melbourne [James Ross/Reuters]More than 20,000 infections were recorded in Victoria earlier this year when hotel staff contracted the virus from people returning from overseas. The outbreak has been widely blamed on failures of private contractors to follow protocol.
The new system will greet Australians arriving on a flight from Sri Lanka, who will now no longer be allowed to leave their rooms under the new hotel quarantine restrictions.
Travellers arrive at a hotel in Melbourne where Australians returning from overseas will quarantine as part of precautions against the Covid-19 coronavirus [William West/AFP]
1 hour ago (07:00 GMT)
Emergency use requested for AstraZeneca vaccine in India
The Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest vaccine producer by volume, has sought emergency use authorisation in the country for AstraZeneca Plc’s COVID-19 vaccine, according to reports in Indian media, citing the Press Trust of India.
SII’s application said data from four clinical studies, two in the UK and one each in Brazil and India, showed that the vaccine, Covishield, was highly effective against severe COVID-19 infections, the report said.
AstraZeneca’s vaccine is logistically feasible for distribution in India since it could be stored at normal refrigeration temperatures of two to eight degrees Celsius (36 – 46 Fahrenheit). Pfizer Inc applied for similar authorisation of its vaccine, which requires temperatures of -70 Celcius (-94 F), in India on Saturday.
1 hour ago (07:00 GMT)
Military to help with COVID-19 surge in S Korea, Japan
South Korea and Japan are deploying their militaries to assist healthcare workers in combatting COVID-19, with South Korean soldiers called in to expand coronavirus testing and tracing and Japanese military nurses tapped to fill a shortage of staff at hospitals in the hard-hit regions of Hokkaido and Osaka.
A medical worker holds a portable fan during in sweltering heat while police officers are tested for COVID-19 at a makeshift clinic at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency in Seoul, South Korea [File: Ahn Young-joon/AFP)Moon Jae-in, the president of South Korea, ordered the government to mobilise “every available” resource to track infections and to expand testing by deploying the military and more people from the public service, presidential Blue House spokesman Chung Man-ho told a briefing.
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1 hour ago (07:00 GMT)
California imposes stay-at-home order
A new stay-at-home order has been be imposed on Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley, as the coronavirus crisis spirals out of control with a speed that has exceeded health officials’ most dire projections.
Some 33 million Californians will be subject to the new order, representing 84 percent of the state’s population. The state mandated the restrictions in the Southland and Central Valley as capacity in hospital intensive care units hit dangerously low levels.